When you’ve crafted your Colorado Springs business around what is, arguably, a seasonal activity, what happens when the weather takes a turn?

Theme-thwarting conditions weren’t so much an issue last winter for The Trails End Taproom, which celebrates its one-year anniversary next month at a west-side shopping plaza at 31st Street and Colorado Avenue, just off Midland Trail.

“Last winter, there were a ton of bike people,” said owner Kevin Weese. “But last winter was very warm. It’s supposed to be very snowy this year.”

Sure, a dedicated cyclist could turn to fat bikes or studded tires, but Weese expects a good number of his outdoorsy clientele will embrace the cold in a more traditional Colorado way. It’s what he plans to do, at least, at work and play.

Weese partnered with the Boulder- based Warren Miller Entertainment for a kick-off campaign celebrating the release of Miller’s final film, “Face of Winter.” The legendary sports filmmaker, whose credits include more than 500 movies — most of them dedicated to snow sports — died in January at age 93.

Pumpkin beers define the season, which is great if you're a fan

“People are fanatical about his films, and gear up for the season by watching them,” said Weese, whose taproom will host “Warren Miller Wednesdays” in October, with a series of “throwback ski films” on all the TVs and large projector screen, drink specials and giveaways. “Warren Miller’s first movie was in 1950 and he did it 68 years, so that’s a lot of movies. This is an opportunity to catch four of them.”

Plus, it helps get everyone — himself included — excited for ski season.

“I’ve lived here my whole life, and I love skiing,” said Weese, who is redecorating his pour-your-own taproom to mark the shift. “Some people bike in summer to stay in shape for skiing, and vice versa.”

The celebration will continue through the season thanks to a partnership with Crested Butte’s Matchstick Productions, which also produces ski movies. Giveaways and deals include lift tickets to Monarch Mountain, another partner in the seasonal rebrand. Those with passes to Monarch Mountain get an automatic discount at Trails End, and there will be an added discount for people who come in after having skied that day, Weese said.

The taproom still is running its weekly bike rides, through the month or for as long as the weather holds, and on the 30th will host a “costume poker ride,” which is sort of a pub crawl meets scavenger hunt meets poker tournament.

“October is a transition month. We’ve still got rides going on, but people are starting to think about winter stuff and get prepared, and we are too,” Weese said. “We want to be the ski town for Monarch.”


Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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